Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Victor Lukasso
If you were involved in a fatal accident that resulted in an injury or car damage. You’re entitled to a settlement if the accident wasn’t your fault.
However, for those who don’t know what to do if you’re involved in a car accident that is not your fault – you should contact your lawyer and file for a settlement.
The settlement process might seem simple because you might have a clue of the amount you’ll get from the case but most times they take longer to resolve.
There are several reasons why a car accident settlement may take a long time to be resolved. The complexity of the case, disagreement over damages, insurance company, reaching medical estimates, crash investigation, Delay tactics by the defendant, disagreement over liability, and legal proceedings also contribute to why your car accident settlement is taking too long.
In this article, we’ll answer the “why is my Car Accident Settlement taking so long” question and also provide ways to speed up the process.
Why is my Car Accident Settlement taking so long?
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident and are wondering why your settlement is taking so long, you’re not alone.
Many people find the process of obtaining a settlement after an accident to be confusing and frustrating, and it can be especially difficult if you’re dealing with injuries or other damages as a result of the accident.
Here is a list of potential reasons why your accident settlement is taking too long and the details involved.
- The complexity of the case
- Disagreement over liability
- Disagreement over damages
- Defense tactics
- Insurance company delays
- Legal proceedings
- Settlement Payout takes time
- Availability of eyewitness
- Personal Injuries
- The workload of the Insurance Company
Now, let’s see how the above factors can affect your accident settlement.
1. The complexity of the case
Car accident settlements might take shorter or longer to resolve depending on how complex the case is.
For instance, if the accident involves multiple parties, and caused multiple damages and injuries then it’ll take longer to determine the full extent of the damages and reach a settlement agreement.
2. Disagreement over liability
Disagreement over liability refers to a situation in which the parties involved in a car accident cannot agree on who was at fault for the accident.
If there is disagreement over who was at fault, this can significantly complicate the investigation and negotiation process and extend the length of time it takes to reach a settlement.
In cases where there is disagreement over liability, insurance companies may need to gather additional evidence and witness testimony in order to determine who was at fault
3. Disagreement over damages
Disagreement over damages refers to a situation in which the parties involved in a car accident cannot agree on the number of damages that should be paid as a result of the accident.
This can further complicate the accident settlement process and extend the settlement reach time.
In cases where there is disagreement over damages, insurance companies may need to gather information such as medical records, repair estimates, and documentation of lost wages or other damage records.
4. Delay Tactics by the other party
This is a tactic commonly employed by a guilty party especially when the accident settlement is quite a huge sum.
They’ll try to delay the outcome of the case or always postpone deadlines, etc. All in a bid to make the plaintiff give up on the case.
Experienced lawyers know when these techniques are being applied and how to respond to them accordingly.
5. Insurance company delays
Insurance companies may delay the settlement process in order to reduce the amount they have to pay.
They may try to negotiate a lower settlement amount or may dispute the validity of a claim.
6. Legal Proceedings
If the parties involved in the accident are unable to come to a settlement agreement, the case may need to go to court.
This can significantly extend the time it takes to resolve the case, as the legal process can be lengthy and time-consuming.
7. Settlement Payout time
Even after a settlement has been reached, the guilty party will have to send a check to your lawyer who will then disburse it as necessary.
Also, some part of the settlement will be used to sort out other necessary payments such as unpaid medical bills, insurance fees, payment to any previous lawyer on the case, child support fees, and your lawyer’s payment.
This will increase the accident settlement timeliness.
8. Personal Injuries
If you sustained personal injuries as a result of the accident, it may take longer to resolve your settlement if your injuries are severe or if you need ongoing medical treatment.
In these cases, it may be necessary to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before determining the full extent of your damages and negotiating a settlement.
9. The workload of the insurance company
Insurance companies handle a large volume of claims, and it may take time for them to review and process each claim.
Additionally, insurance companies may prioritize certain claims over others, which could also contribute to delays.
If you feel that your claim is being unnecessarily delayed, it may be helpful to speak with a lawyer.
How to Curb Car Accident Settlement Delays
If you’re frustrated by the length of time it’s taking to resolve your car accident settlement, there are a few things you can do to help the process move along more quickly.
1. Keep all necessary documents
It’s important you keep all documentations that’ll aid in boosting your claims readily available, documents such as police reports, medical records, and estimates for repair or replacement of any damaged part/property will help streamline the claim process.
2. Keep in contact with your insurance company and Attorney
Keep your insurance company or attorney updated on any new developments or changes in your case.
This will help keep your case on track and prevent delays.
3. Exercise Patience
While you want your settlement to be completed instantly, it’s also important that you exercise patience and understanding where necessary.
But do not hesitate to boost things up if you find an opportunity.
4. Change Attorney
If the current attorney handling case is dragging legs on the case then you can proceed to drop them and hire a more vibrant one that’ll pursue the case.
5. Take Alternative Dispute Resolution
If the settlement process isn’t reaching an agreement after a long time using traditional negotiation and mediation then you can use alternative dispute resolution means.
Resolution methods such as arbitration and litigation will help you reach an agreement although it might also be time-consuming.
Overall, while it can be frustrating to wait for your car accident settlement to be resolved, it’s important to be patient and work with your insurance company and/or attorney to ensure that your case is handled properly.
How long do most car accident settlements take?
Car settlements usually take one week to months depending the on the complexity of the case. The time frame is also affected by various factors such as disagreement over damages, insurance company, reaching maximum medical improvements, crash investigation, Delay tactics by the defendant, disagreement over liability, legal proceedings, etc.
Why does it take so long to get a settlement?
Accident settlement usually takes longer to resolve because of a lack of eyewitnesses or documents, longer time taken to reach maximum medical improvement, and the complexity of the case.
If you’re concerned about the length of time it’s taking to resolve your case, it’s a good idea to discuss your concerns with your attorney or insurance company.
They can provide more information on the specific factors that are affecting the timeline of your settlement and help you understand what you can expect going forward